Though the phenomena of ozone depletion and global warming are entirely different processes, they are often confused for each other due to the obvious connection between them. Indeed, ozone depletion can be viewed as the direct consequence of global warming; therefore, there is no wonder that the cause and the effect get mixed up. However, there are a few ways to differentiate between the two.
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First and most obvious, the definitions of the two processes differ considerably. While each is referred to as a “process” (Lutgens and Tarbuck 410), their causes are entirely different. Based on the definition provided by Lutgens and Tarbuck, ozone depletion is the reduction of the amount of ozone in the mesosphere; global warming, its turn, is the process of preventing infrared light from escaping into space and, therefore, resulting in a significant increase in temperature (Lutgens and Tarbuck 425).
Next, the effects of global warming and ozone depletion are quite different, though at certain points they admittedly cross. To be more exact, ozone depletion triggers a rise in the radiation rates. Therefore, ozone depletion causes only a part of the effects that the global warming process is responsible for. In contrast to the ozone depletion process, which causes a steep rise in the average temperature rates and an increase in the health issues, including skin cancer, sunburns of different severity rates, etc., global warming triggers ozone depletion, ice caps melting and a change in the habitat, thus, leading to the extinction of various species (Chang, Feng, Gao and Gao 360).
However, by far the greatest difference between the two phenomena concerns their function, as well as their nature. According to what Lutgens and Tarbuck say, the key factor determining the phenomenon of global warming is the presence of a large amount of greenhouse cases, particularly, carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere of the Earth (Lutgens and Tarbuck 422).
The concept of ozone depletion, in its turn, belongs to an entirely different set off phenomena and, thus, performs a different function in the process of climate and habitat change, as well as the emergence of new health concerns. As it has been stressed above, the process of ozone layer depletion starts with the introduction of chlorine compounds (Chlorofluorocarbon, Freon, etc.) into the atmosphere and its following destruction (Lutgens and Tarbuck 425).
In addition, the effects of industries and the pollutants produced by people on the development of ozone depletion and the global warming process should be mentioned. It is quite remarkable that the connection between manmade pollutants and the process of ozone depletion is obvious. A range of aerosol propellants, as well as other sources of CFC and HCFC in the atmosphere, contribute to the development of ozone depletion and the progression of the phenomenon. The effects of civilization on the global warming process are much more diverse and less obvious; traditionally, it is assumed that global warming is caused by deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions (Lutgens and Tarbuck 431).
Therefore, as it has been stressed above, ozone depletion cannot be considered the same process as that one of global warming, since the latter is the cause of the former. Hence, the two represent a hierarchy and, logically, cannot be viewed as the exact same phenomenon. Nevertheless, one must keep in mind that both issues pose a tangible threat to the Earth and it’s the species inhabiting it, including people.
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Chang, Ni-Bin, Rui Feng, Zhiqiang Gao and Wei Gao. “Skin Cancer Incidence Is Highly Associated with Ultraviolet-B Radiation History.” International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health 213.5 (2010), 359–368.
Lutgens, Frederick K. and Edward J.Tarbuck “Moisture, Clouds and Precipitation.” Foundations of Earth Science. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 2014. 409–445. Print.